FOPG Installs Tree Labels in Public Garden

January 22, 2013

The Friends of the Public Garden has begun installing new tree labels on the more than 500 trees in the Public Garden. This project is being funded through a generous grant from the Putnam Foundation.

Over the past month, one hundred labels have been installed with a goal of completing the remaining trees by the end of 2013. These labels can be found on some of the main walking paths with a focus on the paths that were resurfaced this past fall by the city.

“We are so grateful to Fred Putnam and the Putnam Foundation for this wonderful support,” said Friends of the Public Garden Executive Director Liz Vizza. “Visits to the Public Garden will be immeasurably enriched by the addition of these labels, and the appearance of new labels on trees this winter has already been met with great enthusiasm by the public.”

The Public Garden is the first public botanical garden in the United States, established in 1837. As such, the educational and informational experience of its users is a vital component of moving through the Garden. Historic photographs from the turn of the 20th century show labels on trees and several times, over the decades, new labels have been installed. Some of these older labels are still on trees but badly faded making them difficult to read. Some are beyond comfortable sight lines due to the tree growth since last being installed, while others have simply disappeared for unknown reasons.

The new labels that you will see measure 4 by 6 inches, and are made from black anodized aluminum. They are mounted with a stainless steel screw with a spring spacer providing ample room for the tree to grow.  Basic botanical information is provided identifying the species common name, botanical Latin name, botanical family grouping name and the date planted (if known). Additional text will be included if the tree has been donated in memory or in honor of someone.

The Friends will be back in the Garden with teams of volunteers installing the next batch of labels this coming April. In the meantime, the public is invited to explore the beauty of the Public Garden and begin to learn more about the trees we all pass every day.

For information about the Friends group, visit, e-mail or call 617-723-8144.

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